David Duchovny, The X-Files (FOX)
Anthony Edwards, ER (NBC)
Dennis Franz, NYPD Blue (ABC)
Jimmy Smits, NYPD Blue (ABC)
Braugher was better than ever in 1997-98, beginning with last fall's season opener, in which his cop character went nose-to-nose with a murder suspect played by James Earl Jones. The strength, depth and complexity of Braugher's work are unsurpassed, and his decision to leave the cast has to hurt Homicide. To let him depart with a record of two Emmy nominations and no wins—now, that would be a crime.